Humphrey Jennings: Pandæmonium, 1660-1886: The Coming of the Machine as Seen by Contemporary Observers (1985)

24 May 2014, dusan

Pandaemonium, 1660-1886 is a book of contemporary observations of the coming, development and impact of the Industrial Revolution in the United Kingdom, collected by documentary film-maker Humphrey Jennings between 1937 and his early death in 1950. His daughter, Mary-Louise Jennings, and a co-founder with Jennings of Mass Observation, Charles Madge, brought his work to publication in 1985. The book takes its title from the first excerpt within it, the section in Book I of Paradise Lost (1660) in which John Milton describes the building of Pandaemonium, the capital city of Hell. (from Wikipedia)

From the New York Times review (1985): “For Humphrey Jennings, Pandaemonium was a prophetic symbol of industrialism, and it provides not only the title but also the starting point of his attempt to chronicle ‘the imaginative history of the Industrial Revolution.’ This was best done, he thought, by letting those who took part in the process speak for themselves, and Milton’s lines usher in a collection of some 370 texts ranging from the 1660’s to the 1880’s – the testimony of scientists, artists, rich men, poor men and a great throng of miscellaneous witnesses. Between them, these passages (or ‘images,’ as Jennings preferred to call them) are meant to provide a composite picture of how contemporaries experienced the triumph of the machine, how it transformed both their outward circumstances and inner lives.” (Review)

The cover above is from the UK edition.

First published by André Deutsch. London, 1985
Edited by Mary-Lou Jennings and Charles Madge
Publisher The Free Press, New York
First American Edition, 1985
ISBN 0029164702
376 pages
via joandleefe

PDF (30 MB)

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